friends

Full of Grace

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

be picky ,)

I like to have lots of different kinds of friends.  I have friends with whom I talk sports, some that we talk about good books that we’re reading, others that we talk about spiritual issues, some that we discuss our kids and what’s happening in their lives, etc.  It seems to me that we each friend, there are some distinct conversational “sweet spots” and I’ve learned that there are various topics that are limited to certain friends.  For example, I don’t talk about sports with my friend who is my book buddy and I don’t talk about fashion with my “spiritual issues” friend.  Everyone definitely has their unique strengths and I love this!!

There is, however, one person with whom I I love talking about almost everything & that’s God.  But I think it’s unfortunate that even with God I find myself occasionly trying to limit the conversation because I don’t like the topic.  But  here’s the truth:  God is the only truly “safe” person with whom you can talk about literally anything and He will ALWAYS have constructive things to say to you, regardless of the topic.  Don’t limit your conversations with God 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

friends are cool :)

God has put some amazing people in my life!!  As I’ve been thanking God for some of these individuals, I’ve observed a few things:

  • differences can be good when there’s mutual respect
  • friendships can take time to grow
  • a Joyce Meyer quote:  some relationships are for a season, some for a reason & a few for a lifetime
  • genuine friendships require mutuality
  • friendships require both listening and talking
  • a truly constructive friendship will support and encourage an ever deepening relationship w Jesus
  • a mentor isn’t the same thing as a friend

Let’s celebrate the friendships that God has put in our lives!

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

friends are important!

 On the whole, I believe that God has designed us to be social & for people to be important in our lives.  And in my life, I see that God has put lots of different kinds of friends & people in my life.  For me, its important to have a diversity of friends & not just try to have everything wrapped up into one person or only a few.  Here are a few of the diverse friendships that I have:   

  • friends with whom I share recipes,
  • friends that I see movies with,
  • friends with whom I talk about good books,
  • friends where our kids have similar ages so we hang out when our kids play together
  • friends with whom we share about God at very deep & transparent levels
  • friends that enjoy travel adventures
  • friends that challenge my political thoughts, even though I have very few ,)

Let’s be sure to celebrate & honor the various friendships in our lives & let God unfold their purposes over time.  Being & having friends is important! 😀

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Posted by sarahbowling in cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, 0 comments

Celebrating friends!

I’m always thoroughly amazed at the variety of ways that God connects with us! I just had a coffee w a great friend & we did all of the usual catch up conversation, but what I always most enjoy is talking about how God is integrated into our daily living. In this particular conversation, it was a very rich & deep experience as we shared the different ways that God is moving in our lives. My friend & I are at very different seasons in our lives but getting to listen to the various was that God is moving in my friends life is nothing short of breath taking. Indeed, I’ve walked away from our conversation w the Emmaus road expression, “was not my heart burning,” as we talked. Truly, it is an indescribably rich discussion when we get to talk deeply with close friends about Jesus & His work in our daily living. What a magnificent Christmas presence 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Christmas, enemies to intimacy, Holy Spirit, living, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

friendships

  When I was growing up, I used to complain to my parents about not having any friends – it was partly true, because I wasn’t a very friendly person.  Nevertheless, my parents would always encourage me that I had lots of friends & they were always very affirming on this topic.  Here are some other pearls of wisdom they taught  me in relation to friendships:

  • diversity is good – its good to have lots of different kinds of friends:  smart, funny, healthy, beautiful, chubby, witty, deep, seasonal, insightful, superficial, . . . . .   Diversity is the spice of life!
  • in order to have friends, we must be friendly:  smile, be forgiving, generous, seeking to understand
  • be more concerned about being interested rather than interesting:  listening can be a timeless gift
  • a friendship isn’t merely about what you can get out of the relationship, but also what you can give
  • don’t be disappointed because someone is unable to give something you want in a friendship – maybe they don’t have that skill set or ability, just like you also have some shortcomings
  • give the benefit of the doubt:  don’t assign malicious intent
  • no one person can be your everything in life – this expectation is unhealthy & ultimately idolatrous
  • be the friend you would like to have 🙂
  • forgive, forgive, forgive & be prepared to continue forgiving
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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, living, spiritual, 2 comments

scones & wisdom for breakfast ,)

 My ultra cool husband made scones for breakfast today & he makes a fantastic scone!  While we were eating, my kids & I had an interesting discussion about friendships with the importance of their various influences.  In my morning Bible time, I read Prov 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Here’s a quick synopsis of our conversation, chose your friends wisely because they will have either a harmful or wise influence in your life – affecting your choices, preferences and values.  A companion of fools will suffer harm, but the person who walks with others who are wise, will himself be wise.  Let’s be sure to chose wisely who we allow to be close to us, with whom we share our heart & allow ourselves to be vulnerable 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in cooking, enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, spiritual, 0 comments

some thoughts on friendship

When I was growing up, my mom gave me some really good thoughts on friendships.  She would always encourage me to have lots of different friends & to not just have one, key friend.  I can still hear her tell me not to “put all of my eggs in one basket.”  This advice has really helped me over the years to be open to having lots of different kinds of friends – some young, some smart, some kind, some silly, some reflective, some old, some cheeky, . . . .   The diversity makes for some fantastic conversations, insights & interactions!

My mom also encouraged me that friendships go through seasons.  Furthermore, I picked up from Joyce Meyers that God puts friendships in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  The reason, season & lifetime ideas have really helped me to keep a healthy perspective on the various relationships that God brings into & removes from my life.  Some friendships God brings for a reason – to help us grow, change, etc.  Some friendships come into our life for a season – they have a limited duration & for whatever reason, they seem to dissapate after a time.  Finally, there are a few friendships that last for a lifetime.  I think that the lifetime friendships are few & far between, but I highly treasure these relationships.  Recently, I had one of these friends pop through Denver for a few days & I’m musing today on God’s love to me, expressed through this wonderful friendship.  I’m keenly aware that my friend is ultimately a conduit through whom God expresses His love to me and how great is the Father’s love for us!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, spiritual, 0 comments

amazing travels

I’m presently sitting between 2 of my kids, Isbell & David, thanking God for the most fantastic family – seriously!  God is indescribably amazing.  In the past 1.5 weeks, i’ve been to Ethiopia, Turkey (quickie), Jordan & Israel.  The best part of all of my travelling has been the fellowship i’ve had w God – such richness, depth & tantalizing closeness.  Sometimes, it really helps my walk w God to get out of the daily routine, out of my comfort zone, & increase my dependence on God. 

Ethiopia:  fantastic time with God, the orphanage we connect with & my friends.  The orphanage that we work with, over the last year, has really undertaken working w abandoned babies.  This was really touching, particularly as this is so close to my heart w the “saving Moses” campaign we’re launching w worldchild.  I also had the privilege of ministering in Pastor Eyob’s church in Addis & i can just summarize this by saying that my church family is now extended to include this church.  My time in Ethiopia has been rich in fellowship with not only family & friends but most importantly a rich depth with the Holy Spirit.  i can’t even begin to describe how completely riveting / captiving the Holy Spirit is to me, particularly during my time in Ethiopia.

Israel:  i joined the group trip w mom & had a great time getting to know some new people, reconnect w some old friends, share about God & see some cool places / ruins.  We visited Petra (in Jordan), Masada (in Israel), drove by the dead sea & then onto Jerusalem.  The group trip is going well & the travellers seem to be experiencing God in many different rich ways by being in many places discussed in the Bible.

Travelling:  i’ve been in lots of airports & on lots of airplanes – all total, in 10 days, i’ve been on no less than 10 planes & spent well over 100 hours on planes & in airports, to include 1 lost & now found blackberry. 🙂

if you’d like to check out some pics, pop over to my facebook & you can see some cool friends, places & experiences 🙂

Again, the best part of the last 1.5 wks has been the rich & deep fellowship w the Holy Spirit – the treasure of my life! 🙂

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hello from Ethiopia!

Greetings from Addis Ababa! I’ve had a spectacular time of ministry here for the last 4 days – simply wonderful!! To begin, we’ve been able to launch our “saving Moses” campaign for worldchild – I was able to visit the orphanage we sponsor in Gondar Ethiopia, where I met the baby girls who had been rescued from being abandoned in a field last year. They’re doing AWESOME & I plan to post some pics shortly. The orphanage in Gondar in the last week received 5 babies who have been abandoned.  I’m struggling to wrap my head around this problem of abandoned babies – I think it happens in the world much more than we are aware.  It shakes my heart to see these babies who are abandoned.  I’m rather speechless on this.

From Gondar, I flew to Addis where i’ve had the privilege to minister in a church on leadership & also for the Sunday service.  The ministry time here is really powerful – they are so eager to receive, very gentle & humble and open to God speaking into their lives.  Its a very humbling experience to minister here, a very RICH spiritual experience.  In one of our services, you could sense God’s presence with tremendous weight – such that even now, words elude me from describing how powerful this experience was. 

Additionally, I’ve been able to connect w some great friends from last year & I’m so very grateful to God for bringing me here.  This has been a really powerful time for me w God on a very personal level & i’m extremely grateful to Him for allowing me to come back to Ethiopia.  Of course the food & coffee are great & I always LOVE to pick up some of the language – most of all, i love the people. 

In a few hours, i’ll fly to Israel to join the group trip w mom & I know this will also be wonderful.  Thanks for being patient with the blogging thing – the internet in Ethiopia can be kind of like a safari experience.  that’s all i’m gonna say about that.

So let me leave you with some spiritual thoughts:  don’t reject God’s provisions just because they don’t meet your expectations.  perhaps God is testing you so you can see some of your weak spots.  🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Ethiopia, 4 comments